Since the Doi Moi (renovation) free market reforms of the late 1980s, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has experienced remarkable economic growth evidenced by an 8 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 14 percent industrial growth rates per annum; rapid urbanization (4.5 percent per annum); and dramatic increases in the use of motorized vehicles and the manufacture and use of chemicals. Population has tripled over the past 50 years, and now stands at 83,689,518 (July 2005 estimate). Together, these factors have led to significant environmental problems, especially on densely populated coastal plains.

Coastal waters are polluted with suspended solids, nitrite, nitrate, heavy metals, grease, and oil, in some cases at levels four times greater than the Vietnamese standard. Freshwater is in increasingly short supply as ...

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